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What A-levels to choose for Mechanical Engineering? Is Chemistry needed/recommended? watch

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    Hello guys, I'm currently a month away from choosing my A-Level subjects for next year. I want to study Mechanical Engineering at university and have decided to take (at least) the following subjects:

    -Maths
    -Further Maths
    -Physics

    I have also thought of doing the following two (these I am still evaluating):

    -Technology and Design (because it so relaxed and I really enjoy it - at least at GCSE level)
    -Computing (actually called Software Systems Development - which is mostly learning C# programming language)

    I know that most universities require Maths and Physics, and some recommend further maths. I love these three subjects so I am sure I will do these. However I don't know I should be doing something else, for example Chemistry, because I have the idea that Technology & Design and Computing are regarded as less valuable.

    Would you think that my list of subjects is good for ANY university for Mechanical Engineering? or would you recommend that I do another "hard" subject such as Chemistry instead of T&D or Comp?

    P.S. There is also a possibility that I will apply to Electrical/Electronic or Software Engineering, hence my idea to go with Computing. if you have any other subjects in mind, please tell me!

    So what do you think guys? :please:

    Thanks a lot for your help.
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    Chemistry obviously not essential but if you're considering electrical then I'd say go with chemistry as it is relevant.

    It'd just open doors, and is well regarded and liked by universities.

    I wouldn't go with computing or the design thingy, because they're not needed and not v useful anyway.

    The flip side is to pick a language or economics :yep:
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    Have you looked at some uni websites? Design Technology and/or Chemistry are on 'preferred' list for some courses.

    I know several of my ex-students have found Design Technology useful in the CADCAM/design amd materials aspects of engineering. Chemistry is well-regarded but there is not much content that will help with an engineering degree.
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    (Original post by clfm10)
    Hello guys, I'm currently a month away from choosing my A-Level subjects for next year. I want to study Mechanical Engineering at university and have decided to take (at least) the following subjects:

    -Maths
    -Further Maths
    -Physics

    I have also thought of doing the following two (these I am still evaluating):

    -Technology and Design (because it so relaxed and I really enjoy it - at least at GCSE level)
    -Computing (actually called Software Systems Development - which is mostly learning C# programming language)

    I know that most universities require Maths and Physics, and some recommend further maths. I love these three subjects so I am sure I will do these. However I don't know I should be doing something else, for example Chemistry, because I have the idea that Technology & Design and Computing are regarded as less valuable.

    Would you think that my list of subjects is good for ANY university for Mechanical Engineering? or would you recommend that I do another "hard" subject such as Chemistry instead of T&D or Comp?

    P.S. There is also a possibility that I will apply to Electrical/Electronic or Software Engineering, hence my idea to go with Computing. if you have any other subjects in mind, please tell me!

    So what do you think guys? :please:

    Thanks a lot for your help.
    Hey, as long as you have maths, FM and physics, you can literally do anything.

    It's important to stress that places like Bath stress having a contrasting fourth
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    (Original post by L'Evil Fish)
    Chemistry obviously not essential but if you're considering electrical then I'd say go with chemistry as it is relevant.

    It'd just open doors, and is well regarded and liked by universities.

    I wouldn't go with computing or the design thingy, because they're not needed and not v useful anyway.

    The flip side is to pick a language or economics :yep:
    Actually I had thought of doing economics, but I really don't like having to write so many essays, unless I have the wrong idea of what economics is about?
    Also, I like chemistry at GCSE, the thing is that I like it because of the teacher, and I know that if I don't get this teacher then this subject will be the biggest pain in my a**. Do you know anything about A-level Chemistry, because tbh at GCSE ALL subjects are easy and I have been getting full marks because all you need to do is memorize.

    (Original post by Muttley79)
    Have you looked at some uni websites? Design Technology and/or Chemistry are on 'preferred' list for some courses.

    I know several of my ex-students have found Design Technology useful in the CADCAM/design amd materials aspects of engineering. Chemistry is well-regarded but there is not much content that will help with an engineering degree.
    Would you say that for an uni, Chemistry will look better than Tech or Computing?

    (Original post by jake4198)
    Hey, as long as you have maths, FM and physics, you can literally do anything.

    It's important to stress that places like Bath stress having a contrasting fourth
    What do you mean by "contrasting"? Basically one that has nothing to do with the course?
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    (Original post by clfm10)
    Actually I had thought of doing economics, but I really don't like having to write so many essays, unless I have the wrong idea of what economics is about?
    Also, I like chemistry at GCSE, the thing is that I like it because of the teacher, and I know that if I don't get this teacher then this subject will be the biggest pain in my a**. Do you know anything about A-level Chemistry, because tbh at GCSE ALL subjects are easy and I have been getting full marks because all you need to do is memorize.


    Would you say that for an uni, Chemistry will look better than Tech or Computing?



    What do you mean by "contrasting"? Basically one that has nothing to do with the course?
    There are essays in economics Yeah, no escaping that

    Yep, I do. It's a nice A Level, not too challenging but it is nice. It's more learning how things work and then seeing if you can apply that to situations.
    Chemistry will look better than tech/computing

    And I don't agree with bath wanting a contrasting subject. It won't go against you at all if you don't have one
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    I have to disagree with L'Evil Fish - part of my role in school is supporting UCAS applications so I am pretty up to speed with requirements.

    As I said look at a few uni websites ... Technology is mentioned alongside Chemistry.

    It depends on where you see your engineering taking you. Design, especially using computer simulation, is a key aspect of industry ...

    For example, Bath (chosen because it was quoted above) says:

    Typical Offer: A*AA
    In exceptional circumstances we may make a slightly lower offer (typically AAA)
    A level subject requirements

    • Mathematics grade A or above
    • Physics grade A or above
    • A* required in either Mathematics or Physics
    • General Studies will not be included in the offer
    • Languages which are intended for non-native speakers are not normally acceptable when taken by native speaker of that language

    Preferred subjects
    We prefer the third A level to be in a relevant subject such as Further Mathematics, Design and Technology or a traditional subject.
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    (Original post by Muttley79)
    I have to disagree with L'Evil Fish - part of my role in school is supporting UCAS applications so I am pretty up to speed with requirements.

    As I said look at a few uni websites ... Technology is mentioned alongside Chemistry.

    It depends on where you see your engineering taking you. Design, especially using computer simulation, is a key aspect of industry ...

    For example, Bath (chosen because it was quoted above) says:

    Typical Offer: A*AA
    In exceptional circumstances we may make a slightly lower offer (typically AAA)
    A level subject requirements

    • Mathematics grade A or above
    • Physics grade A or above
    • A* required in either Mathematics or Physics
    • General Studies will not be included in the offer
    • Languages which are intended for non-native speakers are not normally acceptable when taken by native speaker of that language

    Preferred subjects
    We prefer the third A level to be in a relevant subject such as Further Mathematics, Design and Technology or a traditional subject.
    For electrical engineering, I still think chemistry is more relevant. And so Chemistry would be better overall.
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    L'Evil Fish - do you advise students for UCAS applications? Your profile says you are 18 so, with due respect, I think you are incorrect.

    Only Chemical Engineering degrees prefer Chemistry ... and the OP is talking about Mechanical.
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    (Original post by Muttley79)
    L'Evil Fish - do you advise students for UCAS applications? Your profile says you are 18 so, with due respect, I think you are incorrect.

    Only Chemical Engineering degrees prefer Chemistry ... and the OP is talking about Mechanical.
    Just because it's in your job title, doesn't mean you're inherently more knowledgeable, although yes you have a point. You probably do know more about applications and such but chemistry is a better choice than design as it is more respected, opens more doors in case doors need to be opened, looked well upon by ALL universities (as opposed to a select few for design)

    OP said mechanical, but also mentioned electrical. Chemistry A2 has electricity, energy transfers and such, and it's mathematical too.

    Preferred: Traditional subjects. Chemistry is a traditional subject.

    I think chemistry is a better one to have, if OP changes his mind, more doors are open than if he chose Design.
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    OP is thinking about electrical/electronic so computing would be better than Chemistry ...

    L'Evil Fish - there are more than 'a select few' that mention desgn technology; perhaps you need to get on those websites too!

    Chemistry A level is not for everyone and the Physics A level course covers all the knowledge needed for the electrical aspects of engineering.
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    (Original post by clfm10)
    Hello guys, I'm currently a month away from choosing my A-Level subjects for next year. I want to study Mechanical Engineering at university and have decided to take (at least) the following subjects:

    -Maths
    -Further Maths
    -Physics

    I have also thought of doing the following two (these I am still evaluating):

    -Technology and Design (because it so relaxed and I really enjoy it - at least at GCSE level)
    -Computing (actually called Software Systems Development - which is mostly learning C# programming language)
    Maths and Physics are essential, Further Maths is a considerable help. Having read Mechanical Engineering myself I would recommend DT. I didn't do it myself but I could see the advantage it gave students who had done it. That said, I'd pick anything you enjoy for a fourth subject, if it's DT then so much the better. I can't see that Chemistry A level (other than it being a well respected subject) is the least use in Mech Eng. Granted, there is some Chemistry in Materials Science/metallurgy but my A level Chemistry was no help with this.
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    (Original post by L'Evil Fish)
    Just because it's in your job title, doesn't mean you're inherently more knowledgeable, although yes you have a point. You probably do know more about applications and such but chemistry is a better choice than design as it is more respected, opens more doors in case doors need to be opened, looked well upon by ALL universities (as opposed to a select few for design)

    OP said mechanical, but also mentioned electrical. Chemistry A2 has electricity, energy transfers and such, and it's mathematical too.

    Preferred: Traditional subjects. Chemistry is a traditional subject.

    I think chemistry is a better one to have, if OP changes his mind, more doors are open than if he chose Design.
    Thanks very much for your help, however I have to ay that I am 100% certain that I will not be doing Chemical Engineering so would you still recommend Chemistry? Is it a major step up from GCSE?
    (Original post by Muttley79)
    OP is thinking about electrical/electronic so computing would be better than Chemistry ...

    L'Evil Fish - there are more than 'a select few' that mention desgn technology; perhaps you need to get on those websites too!

    Chemistry A level is not for everyone and the Physics A level course covers all the knowledge needed for the electrical aspects of engineering.
    I know that I will not be doing Chemical Engineering, would you recommend me doing Technology and Computing? Being that you are familiar with the UCAS process, would you know if big universities (Cambridge, Oxford, Imperial) see Technology and Computing as a "not-really-A-level" subject?

    (Original post by Compost)
    Maths and Physics are essential, Further Maths is a considerable help. Having read Mechanical Engineering myself I would recommend DT. I didn't do it myself but I could see the advantage it gave students who had done it. That said, I'd pick anything you enjoy for a fourth subject, if it's DT then so much the better. I can't see that Chemistry A level (other than it being a well respected subject) is the least use in Mech Eng. Granted, there is some Chemistry in Materials Science/metallurgy but my A level Chemistry was no help with this.
    Thanks very much for your help. I think I will do Tech & Design especially since a large part of the Controlled Assessment is working and designing on Solidworks. However, have you found yourself at an advantage when applying to universities for having Chemistry? Or does a person that does not have Chemistry but Tech and Computing stand the same chance?

    I would also like to know, if you don't mind, why you chose Mechanical Engineering among other Engineering disciplines? This would be of great help as I am also very interested in Electronic/Software Engineering.
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    (Original post by clfm10)
    Thanks very much for your help, however I have to ay that I am 100% certain that I will not be doing Chemical Engineering so would you still recommend Chemistry? Is it a major step up from GCSE?
    I know that I will not be doing Chemical Engineering, would you recommend me doing Technology and Computing? Being that you are familiar with the UCAS process, would you know if big universities (Cambridge, Oxford, Imperial) see Technology and Computing as a "not-really-A-level" subject?

    Thanks very much for your help. I think I will do Tech & Design especially since a large part of the Controlled Assessment is working and designing on Solidworks. However, have you found yourself at an advantage when applying to universities for having Chemistry? Or does a person that does not have Chemistry but Tech and Computing stand the same chance?

    I would also like to know, if you don't mind, why you chose Mechanical Engineering among other Engineering disciplines? This would be of great help as I am also very interested in Electronic/Software Engineering.
    If you're going for Oxbridge then I just have to say Chemistry.

    It's a big step up because gcse is all a lie but it isn't too hard. It's enjoyable too.

    If you're going to choose one from design and computing, then I'd say go with computing.
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    Sorry L'Evil Fish - where do you get that info about Oxbridge? I recently helped two students get places for Engineering and both had Technology - neither had Chemistry.

    Knowing SolidWorks would be useful as that is used at uni in design modules.
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    (Original post by Muttley79)
    Sorry L'Evil Fish - where do you get that info about Oxbridge? I recently helped two students get places for Engineering and both had Technology - neither had Chemistry.

    Knowing SolidWorks would be useful as that is used at uni in design modules.
    I don't know if this info is confidential, but could you tell me what other subjects these students applied with? I am VERY interested in studying at Cambridge

    (Original post by L'Evil Fish)
    If you're going for Oxbridge then I just have to say Chemistry.

    It's a big step up because gcse is all a lie but it isn't too hard. It's enjoyable too.

    If you're going to choose one from design and computing, then I'd say go with computing.
    thanks very much again, although I am getting mixed opinions here
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    (Original post by Muttley79)
    Sorry L'Evil Fish - where do you get that info about Oxbridge? I recently helped two students get places for Engineering and both had Technology - neither had Chemistry.

    Knowing SolidWorks would be useful as that is used at uni in design modules.
    Im not saying it's essential, just better prep imo. In terms of harder subjects
    (Original post by clfm10)
    I don't know if this info is confidential, but could you tell me what other subjects these students applied with? I am VERY interested in studying at Cambridge

    thanks very much again, although I am getting mixed opinions here
    Hmmmm... If you enjoy technology, go for it. But I just think chemistry is a nice one to have.

    I also have a place to study at Cambridge should I meet the grades this summer, but for NatSci. Maybe I have a bias :lol:
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    (Original post by L'Evil Fish)
    Im not saying it's essential, just better prep imo. In terms of harder subjects


    Hmmmm... If you enjoy technology, go for it. But I just think chemistry is a nice one to have.

    I also have a place to study at Cambridge should I meet the grades this summer, but for NatSci. Maybe I have a bias :lol:
    Congratulations! what other subjects did you apply with? if you don't mind me asking
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    OP - how many A levels is your school offering? With the new syllabuses we are restricting students to 4 as most courses will be linear (but not maths/f maths).

    So I'd take the three you name: Maths, Physics and F Maths plus Design Tech.

    As I said, research the uni websites and talk to people other than on TSR.
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    (Original post by Muttley79)
    OP - how many A levels is your school offering? With the new syllabuses we are restricting students to 4 as most courses will be linear (but not maths/f maths).

    So I'd take the three you name: Maths, Physics and F Maths plus Design Tech.

    As I said, research the uni websites and talk to people other than on TSR.
    Thanks for quick reply! My school allows me to do 5 A-levels if you do Further maths. If you don't do further maths, then only 4.

    I have done research on several universities and they all ask for Maths and Physics with emphasis on the importance of Further maths. However I wanted to have 2 other subjects to stand out from the crowd if you know what I mean.

    so would you say that the five I listed at the top will be sufficient to get me into any university? assuming I write an excellent personal statement and all that
 
 
 
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